Apple sued over failing iPod shuffle controls | iLounge News

Apple sued over failing iPod shuffle controls

A disgruntled iPod shuffle owner has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple over failing iPod shuffle controls. The Wrap reports that Stephen Vale, of Manhattan Beach, CA, claims that when working out, perspiration would travel down his earphone cord and into the control module, causing the iPod to “fail.” Vale at first took his shuffle to a nearby Apple retail store, and was given a replacement cord, which subsequently failed in the same manner as before. According to the lawsuit, “Plaintiff was told it was alright (sic) to exercise with the music player, but not to sweat.” Vale is claiming five counts of breach-of-warranty, one count of false advertising, and one count of unfair competition, and is seeking unspecified damages for himself and any other affected California residents. Although it is not specified in the report, it appears Vale was using a third-generation iPod shuffle; similar complaints from other third-generation shuffle users began pouring in not long after the device’s release, leading one company to offer waterproofed versions of Apple’s pack-in headphones as a solution to the problem.

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I’ve put my iPhone headphones through TWO full trips in my washer and dryer. TWO.

They are essentially worthless now, since the cord is all warped and curly to the point of being unusable… BUT… everything still works. They play music fine, you can skip tracks… even the microphone works.

It seems odd to me that a little sweat could do more damage then being fully immersed in water and then spun around in a very hot dryer… TWICE.

Posted by ort on March 16, 2010 at 2:31 PM (CDT)


There have been a lot of complaints like this about the iPod shuffle.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on March 16, 2010 at 2:53 PM (CDT)


It’s about time. I hope that this lawsuit will remind Apple that its not all about a minimalist design. Its all about function and good execution.

Posted by Oscar M. on March 16, 2010 at 11:01 PM (CDT)


@Ort… I have a feeling it’s the salt in people’s sweat that is frying the controls, not just the liquid itself. I have run in the rain and even purposely soaked my headphones in Febreze in the past without any problems, but invariably sweat gets into the electrical components and shorts everything out. I’ve already killed one adaptor and am trying to find a second generation shuffle to avoid having to buy another one.

Posted by Stephanie on March 22, 2010 at 10:23 PM (CDT)


I just bought the latest version of the Shuffle and ordered a Scosche Tapstick so that I don’t have to screw around with the earphones which Apple supplies with the shuffle, that usually fail withing a couple of weeks.  Apple has know about this problem for over a year , yet continues to sell it to customers knowing that it is faulty and will fail soon after it’s placed into use.

Posted by Bob on June 7, 2010 at 9:55 PM (CDT)


I have 2 shuffles suffering from sweat damage - my 4GB was only 3 days old when it started.  Running in the deep South means sweat.  Apparently the shuffle cannot take the sweat.  Both shuffles have lost the ability to change the volume and the song, and they have a tendency to just cut off without warning.  The 8 month old shuffle (2GB) also has started doing the voice over during the song.  I have an appointmetn with the Apple “genius” staff.  I’m hopign they will accept their design flow and replace them.  Had I known of the issue, I’d have tried to find a way to protect them better while sweating.  My theory is that sweat not only gets into the jack, but as it runs down the cord, it’s messing up the remote control on the cord.

Posted by Jayne on August 11, 2010 at 3:09 PM (CDT)

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